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December 4, 2023

Learning loss: Tutoring can have transformative impact

Originally posted on The Seattle Times

Re: “The answer to learning loss is within reach” [Nov. 26, Opinion]:

The editorial highlighted pressing academic challenges faced by Seattle’s students, especially those farthest from educational justice. The next step is clear: effective tutoring, currently available through existing organizations at no cost to families, can have a transformative impact.

Research emphasizes the efficacy of high-dosage, one-on-one tutoring in addressing learning gaps. Notably, Reading Partners Seattle, of which I am executive director, has a decadelong record of impressive literacy results, and The Math Agency, as previously featured in The Times, provides another valuable resource. The editorial rightly points out that Seattle’s volunteer pool is a formidable asset, ready to support tutoring organizations across the region.

One-on-one tutoring significantly enhances students’ academic skills by providing personalized attention. Seattle can capitalize on its wealth of community expertise to support students striving to perform at grade level, students who deserve this support now.

While the pandemic coalesced the belief that “we’re all in this together,” its effects persist for students, families, schools and educators. Community support is needed now more than ever, and I urge local districts to expand partnerships with proven organizations and encourage community members to volunteer their time for our students. The need is now and organizations are ready.

Joyce Macek, Seattle

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